- Return to Oman and relax on the beaches of Salalah, in the little-known region of Dhofar
- The ochre rocks of Hajar, blue Gulf of Oman and emerald vegetation in Salalah are a wild paradise
- Road-trip in a 4x4 vehicle, Muscat on foot with a local and a private tour of the Rub' al Khali desert are all included in the itinerary
- You'll have access to all of our additional services, including our local Concierge
Contact one of our Oman specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
RETURN TO OMAN, DISCOVER THE DHOFAR
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT TO MUSCAT
Overnight flight, arriving the next day.
MUSCAT - JEBEL AKHDAR
You can look forward to a warm welcome and priority clearance through customs formalities at Muscat airport, and help with renting a comfortable 4x4. Take the wheel: the road trip begins. In the morning, drive through the mountainous landscapes of Hajar, to the rocky highlands of Jebel Akhdar. It takes about two and a half hours without stopping, but it's definitely worth taking a few breaks along the way to explore the beautiful sights of the inland areas such as the very pretty hilltop village of Misfat Al Abriyeen. Surrounded by a huge palm grove, this is among the most beautiful villages in the country, perched on the side of a canyon, beside the small town of Al Hamra. Take the opportunity to meet the inhabitants and visit a traditional Omani house, located in the heart of the ancient city. Then, climb to reach the Saiq plateau, at the top of Jebel Akhdar. Spend two nights in a luxurious hotel perched on the impressive plateau, some 6,560ft above sea level. A chic and fashionable contemporary eagle's nest. Scattered across the cliff-side, the attractive swimming pool and 78 stone suites and villas are all part of their surroundings in the dizzying heights. Inside, there are contemporary shapes and traditional crafts. Dark wooden furniture and carved marble bathtubs sit alongside woven baskets and works from the local pottery maker. Take time to admire the wilderness and plunging canyons of the beautiful mountain from your shaded balcony.
Known poetically as the 'green mountain with three hundred wadis', Jebel Akhdar is generally considered as traditional Oman. Everywhere, the landscape is spotted with spectacular reliefs, small stone and pebble villages unchanged for centuries, old forts, orchards, terraced crops... It was the Bani Riyam tribe who worked the land that could be cultivated and made the area famous for growing roses, pomegranates, apricots and olive trees. The essential irrigation by a system of underground aqueducts called 'falaj' has been in place for a long time.
Included in the itinerary - Private guided walk through the splendours of Saiq. This hike is an opportunity to explore the traditional life in the mountains, around the charming villages of Al Aqr and Al Ayn, known for their cultivation of roses. From village to village, discover a surprisingly sophisticated, fertile and beautiful mountain life. Mountainous and rugged terrain. This four-hour hike is accompanied by a local guide.
JEBEL AKHDAR - MUSCAT
Allow a short half-day trip to complete this stretch. First, the road reaches the village of Birkat Al Mouz. Spend time visiting the old village and its palm grove before descending to Muscat. Overnight stay in a large modern hotel, set on the hills of Qurum Heights and overlooking the sea. Large palm gardens, a private beach and swimming pool are the highlights of this stopover day in the capital.
Included in the itinerary – Afternoon with a local. This afternoon, meet your expert guide for an insight into life in Oman. Over the years, they have gotten to know every nook and cranny of the city in great detail. The market, the Muttrah souq, the coastal road, Riyam Park and the giant censer are symbols of the city. During this informal walk, including the detour through the great mosque, discuss daily life in the Sultanate of Oman and garner a wealth of tips for the rest of the trip. This tour lasts about four hours, including the air-conditioned 4x4 transfers from the hotel along with refreshments. Tours can be completely customised to suit your interests.
MUSCAT - SALALAH
Before taking the night flight to Salalah, take advantage of the hire car to explore the coast of Oman for a day. Criss-crossing between wadis, oases, mountains and the ocean, a magnificent road runs along the Gulf of Oman in a southward direction, offering visitors spectacular views. Leave early enough to stop at the green gorges of Wadi Dayqah and Wadi Arbaeen. Embedded in ochre limestone ravines, the waters of Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi, two parallel wadis that descend from eastern Hajar, have the clarity and colour of emeralds. They flow between date palms and banana trees, framed by steep cliffs, they spring off mounds of boulders, falling and curling into natural pools. This region is one of the most scenic in the country and is particularly great for hiking and swimming. In the evening, return to Muscat, return your vehicle to the airport and fly to Salalah, to the very south of the country in the Dhofar region. The flight takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes. A private driver will take you to your hotel on arrival. Five-night stay in a huge resort set on fine sand, between lagoon and sea, just opposite the archaeological site of Al Baleed. This beautiful location boasts contemporary villas and a private swimming pool, three restaurants, an oriental spa, coconut palm tree-lined walkways and neat lawns, an infinity pool and a private beach.
In the morning, the hire vehicle will be waiting at the hotel. This air-conditioned 4x4 makes it possible to explore the surroundings of Salalah and the Dhofar region in complete freedom. The Dhofar has a monsoonal climate in summer that differentiates it from the rest of the sultanate. Salalah, renowned for its lush vegetation, is the capital of this province. This is where the inhabitants of Muscat come to seek refuge during the hot summer months. The beautiful coast of the Dhofar and the arid plains of the interior are surrounded by the mountainous massif of Jebel Dhofar. Incense trees still grow today on the lower slopes and steep plains of Jebel Dhofar. There, they are sheltered from monsoon rains while still getting the cooling breezes during summer. Salalah, the southern 'garden city', is a tropical paradise: coconut trees, banana trees and papayas form a patchwork of greenery. Things to see: the archaeological site of Al-Balad, an old port from which incense and myrrh were shipped, the high coastal road, the Sultan's summer palace, the traditional souq and the gold souq.
Enjoy a free day at the beach or exploring eastern Salalah. Follow the coast to Mirbat, the former capital of the Dhofar, with houses that date back as far as 700 years, and its famous fort built on the sea. Along the way, admire pelicans, flamingos and ibis who live on the Khor Rori lagoon. Things to see include the royal farm, Al Mamoura Palace, Ain Razat, the remains of the former Queen of Sheba Palace and the Sharif Al Hussein Bin Ali Mosque.
West of Salalah lies the incense road, one of the oldest known trade routes, leading to the village of Mughsail, famous for its rumbling cliffs. The show is as visual as it is audible. As the tide rises, seawater rushes into the natural cavities and gushes up suddenly to a height of almost 13ft. It's a refreshing performance. Also worth a visit is the tomb of the prophet Job and the mosque.
Included in the itinerary - Private 4x4 tour of the Rub' al Khali desert and the lost city of Ubar. Ubar was once an important stopover for incense caravans. In those days, 1,000 camels travelled to India and China via the desert, exchanging their goods for earthenware, spices and textiles. The city of Ubar was very prosperous, thanks to the charges it imposed for customs duties and water. Marco Polo, one of history's most famous explorers, once called Ubar 'paradise'. Today, only a few vestiges of this golden age remain, as well as a small museum. This eight-hour tour with a private local guide includes transportation from the hotel in a private air-conditioned 4x4 vehicle (108 miles) and admission to the sites.
SALALAH - MUSCAT - INTERNATIONAL RETURN FLIGHT
Private transfer to Salalah Airport (20 minutes). Flight to Muscat, then catch your flight home.
A la carte
THE DOLPHINS OF DHOFAR
Departing from either the port of Raysut or Taqah, about 30 minutes from Salalah, board a boat and set off for two hours of sailing on the trail of these extraordinary marine mammals. Oman's coastline is home to no less than 21 species of dolphins and whales. They can be seen playing and hunting in their natural habitat.
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